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Dál Cuinn Group

Early Kings Of Connacht

Gold Crown
KingSeptReign
Length (Years)Start (A.D.)End (A.D.)
Brión mac Eochada MuigmedúinUB8363370
Fiachra Foltsnáthach mac Eochada MuigmedúinUF12371382
Amalgaid mac Fiachrach FoltsnáthaigUF33383415
Dau Galach mac BriúinUB19416434
Eógan Sréb mac Dauí GalaigUB37435471
Ailill MoltUF20472491
Dau Tenga UmaUB9492500
Eochaid TírmchárnaUB20501520
Eógan BélUF17521537
Ailill InbandaUF9538546
Feradach mac RossaUF3547549
Máel Fothaid mac Maíl UmachUF3550552
Áed mac Eochada TírmchárnaUB22553574
Uadach mac ÁedaUB28575602
Colmán mac CobthaigUF21603623
  • UB = Uí Briúin
  • UF = Uí Fiachrach

The primary source for the preceding King List is Lebar na Núachongbála, AKA the Book Of Leinster, as given in Section 30:

  1. Amalgaid mac Fiachrach .xxxiiii.
  2. [5720] {MS folio 41a 15} Ailill Molt .xx.
  3. Dui Galach xix.
  4. Eogan Bél mac Duach .xxxuii. Fergus & Domnall da mac Meic Erca ro marb Eogan Bel i cath Slicigi
  5. {MS folio 41a 20}Ailill Inbanda mac Eogain .ix. A marbad i cath Cuili Conaire
    [5725] i Cera
    [...]
    la
    [...]ro marbad Ailill
  6. Dui Tengad Umae a marbad i cath Seggissi la Murchertach mac Erca.
  7. {MS folio 41a 25}Eocho Tirmcharna .xx.
  8. Feradach mac Rosa .iii.
  9. [5730] Mael Fothaid mac Mael Umae .iii.
  10. Aed mac Echach Tirmcharna .xxii.
  11. Uatu mac Aeda meic Echach Tirmcharna .xxuiii.
  12. {MS folio 41a 30}Colman mac Cobthaig .xxu. i cath Chind Buga dorochair la hu Briúin.
  13. [5735] Rogellach mac Fuatach .xxu. la Diarmait Ruanaid darochair i cath Chairn Chonaill.

Two hard dates are taken from Daniel P. McCarthy’s The Chronology Of The Irish Annals. The first is the death of Eochaid Muigmedón in 362 A.D. The second is the death of Dau Tenga Uma in 500 A.D. at the battle of Seaghais. This second death is detailed in the Annals Of The Four Masters as follows:

The Age of Christ, 499 [rectè 504]. The twenty-first year of Lughaidh. Cerban, a bishop of Feart-Cearbainⁿ, at Teamhair, died.

The battle of Seaghaisᵒ [was fought] by Muircheartach mac Earca against Duach Teangumhaᵖ, King of Connaught. The cause of the battle was this, viz.: Muircheartach was a guarantee between the King and Eochaidh Tirmcharna, his brother, and Eochaidh was taken prisoner against the protection of Muircheartach. In proof of which Ceannfaeladh⁹ said:

  • The battle of Seaghais; a certain womanʳ caused it; red blood was over lances,
  • By Duiseach, daughter of Duach.
  • The battle of Dealga, the battle of Mucramha, and the battle of Tuaim-Drubha,
  • With the battle of Seaghais, wherein fell Duach Teangumha.

Against the Connaughtmenˢ these battles were gained.

  • Seaghais — This was the ancient name of the Curlieu hills [Curlew Mountains], near Boyle, on the confines of the counties Roscommon and Sligo. This battle is entered in the Annals of Ulster at the year A. D. 501.
  • intentionally skipped
  • intentionally skipped
  • ʳA certain woman: i. e. Duiseach. She was the wife of Muircheartach mac Earca, whom she incited to fight this battle against her father, Duach Teangumha, because he had made a prisoner of her foster-father, Eochaidh Tirmcharna, in violation of her husband’s guarantee. — See the Book of Lecan, fol. 195, b.
  • ˢAgainst the Connaughtmen: i. e. these battles were gained by the race of Niall over the Connaughtmen. The Editor has never seen a full copy of the poem of Cennfaeladh, from which the above verses are quoted. They are also quoted in O’Conor’s printed Annals of Tighernach, in which the battle of Seaghais is twice mentioned as in the text of the Four Masters.

Please note that the Battle of Seaghais has been synchronized to 500 A.D. by Daniel P. McCarthy using the methodology he explains at the link given previously, and this year is being used as a hard, fixed date.

Brión mac Eochada Muigmedúin

The starting date of Brión’s reign is derived from the date of Eochaid Muigmedón’s death in 362 A.D. The length of his reign was backed into from succeeding dates.

Fiachra Foltsnáthach mac Eochada Muigmedúin

The length of Fiachra’s reign is taken from John O’Donovan’s translation of Dubhaltach Mac Firbisigh’s The Genealogies, Tribes, And Customs Of Hy-Fiachrach, Commonly Called O’Dowda’s Country:

Fiachra, son of Eochaidh Muighmheadhoin, was twelve years in the government of Connaught.

The starting and ending dates of his reign were backed into from succeeding dates.

Amalgaid mac Fiachrach Foltsnáthaig

The length of Amalgaid’s reign is taken from both the Book Of Leinster King List, which gives a length of 34 years (see above), and The Genealogies, Tribes, And Customs Of Hy-Fiachrach, which gives a length of 32 years:

Amhalgaidh, son of Fiachra, son of Eochaidh Muighmheadhoin, the first of the Connaught kings who believed on the preaching of St. Patrick. Tir Amhalgaidh is named from him. He was thirty-two years in the government of Connaught when he died well.

A length of 33 years was taken as the midpoint. The starting and ending dates of his reign were backed into from succeeding dates.

Dau Galach mac Briúin

The length of Dau Galach’s reign is taken from the Book Of Leinster King List, which gives a length of 19 years (see above). Ailill Molt ua Fiachrach Foltsnáthaig is shown to have preceded Dau Galach in the Book Of Leinster King List (see above), but given the approximate age of Dau Galach by the time he would have started to reign, it is highly unlikely this occurred.

Eógan Sréb mac Dauí Galaig

This is perhaps the most controversial individual in the proposed King List. The Book of Leinster King List has a chronology problem with placing Eógan Bél and Ailill Inbanda immediately after Dau Galach. According to The Annals Of Clonmacnoise:

425.—Now I intend to lay down the Kˢ of Ireland, the Kˢ of Scotland, the Kˢ of the 5 Provinces & the Kˢ of the County of Ossory yᵗ Lived in the time of one raigne since the time of the Coming of St. Patrick untill the coming of K. Bryan Borowa ut Sequitur. Lagerie before the coming of St. Patrick did raigne but 4 yeares and at that time Moneagh Mwindearge was K. of Ulster, Criocohann mᶜEnna was king of Lynster. Enos mᶜNaofreigh K. of Mounster, and Dwaghgaly K. of Connaught. The first Indiction Romane beginneth Anno 433. Secundinus² aƚs Seachnall Patron of Donsoghlyn³ nephew of St. Patrick & Auxilius⁴ were sent hither by the pope to help the Conversion of this land. The Chronicles of Ireland were Renewed this yeare. St. Bridgett the Virgin was borne⁵ about this time in Anno 425. Joanes Cassianus⁶ died. Manie mᶜNeale Noygiallagh auncestor to those of the land of Teaffie died.

This places Dau Galach as King of Connacht in 425 A.D., which fits the proposed King List. But The Annals Of Clonmacnoise then go on to record:

547.—The battle of Tortan⁵ against Leinster men, where mᶜErcka sonn of Ailill Molt was slaine, was fought this yeare. The Battle of Slygeagh where Owen Bell, K. of Connaught, was slaine; and Fergus & Donell the two sonns of mᶜErcka, finnire mᶜSedna, & Nynny mᶜDivagh were victors. Lugedus, Bishop of Connery, dyed.

It should be noted that in the record just quoted, it is expressly stated that mac Erca is the son of Ailill Molt, and further goes on to say that mac Erca’s two sons Fergus and Domnall were involved in the slaying of Eógan Bél. There are apparently two different mac Erca being referenced by the writer of The Annals Of Clonmacnoise without an attempt to clearly differentiate them.

Returning to Eógan Bél, the Annals Of The Four Masters go on to record his death as follows:

The Age of Christ, 537. The tenth year of Tuathal. St. Lughaidh, Bishop of Connor, died.

The battle of Sligeachʷ by Fearghus and Donihnall, the two sons of Muircheartach mac Earca; by Ainmire, son of Sedna; and Ainnidh, son of Duach, against Eoghan Bel, King of Connaught. They routed the forces before them, and Eoghan Bel was slain, of which was said:

  • The battle of the Ui-Fiachrach was fought with fury of edged weapons against Bel,
  • The kine of the enemy roared with the javelins, the battle was spread out at Crinderˣ
  • The Sligeach bore to the great sea the blood of men with tlieir flesh,
  • They carried many trophies across Eabhaʸ, together with the head of Eoghan Bel.

Despite the difference of a decade between The Annals Of Clonmacnoise and the Annals Of The Four Masters, this nonetheless places the death of Eógan Bél well over a century after the time of Dau Galach and makes it improbable that Eógan Bél and Ailill Inbanda immediately succeeded him. However, both the Book of Leinster King List (see above) and The Annals Of Clonmacnoise (see below) have the following order: Eógan Bél, Ailill Inbanda, Dau Tenga Uma, Eochaid Tírmchárna, and Feradach mac Rossa.

483-15. Hillarius Pope dyed, to whom succeeded Simplicius Pope. The Cytty of Ravenna was quite Destroyed by an Earthquake. Dureing the raignes of the said Kings, that is to say the raign of King Leway mᶜLagery, K. Mortagh, K. Twahall Moylegarve, and K. Dermott there Raigned in Scotland five Kings who were Dawangart, Fergus (whom I should first name), Enos, Convallo, sonn of Dawangart, and Gawran his other sonn, Dureing which time there Raigned in Ulster 4 kings vidzᵗ Eochy mᶜConley, ffearga, Deman & Broydan mᶜCarill. In Mounster their Reigned 3 kings Eochy, Criowhan, & Scanlan; in Connaught alsoe there Rayned 5 kings vidzᵗ. Owen vell, Oillill fitz Owen vel, Dwagh Teangowa, Eochy Tyrncharna, and fearadagh mᶜRossa. Benignus² the Bishop dyed 468. Iserninus³ bishopp died 469. King Ollill Molt made the Great feast of Tarag, called feis taragh, the second Booty that the Saxons tooke from out of Ireland. Docus Bushopp of the Brittans dyed. Brandon⁴ Bushopp of Ardmagh dyed. Conell Criowhan mᶜNeale, auncestor of yᵉ o’Melaghlyns died. Earlahy⁵, third Bushop of Ardmagh, dyed.

However, when examining the entry for Ailill Inbanda in the Book of Leinster King List (see above), there are two lines that are illegible; but from the structure of the rest of the list, it appears that it is sequentially recording the death of two different Ailills. Further, it records Eógan Bél as Eógan Bél mac Duach! All of this taken together raises the possibility that a conflation occurred wherein there were two sets of an Ailill succeeding an Eógan and that one set was deleted.

The lengths of reign selected might appear to be very arbitrary at first glance, but the King List in both the Book of Leinster and The Annals Of Clonmacnoise definitely show Eochaid Tírmchárna succeeding Dau Tenga Uma; which makes sense since Dau Tenga Uma was concerned enough about Eochaid Tírmchárna as a threat to have him imprisoned, and was subsequently slain because of that in 500 A.D. by his own son-in-law, Muirchertach mac Erca, as all the records show. The natural progression would then be for Eochaid Tírmchárna to succeed immediately. His length of reign is recorded as 20 years. Since we previously have the starting date of reign for Eochaid Tírmchárna as 501 A.D., then Eógan Bél’s starting date of reign is 521 A.D. and his earliest date of death is 537 A.D. From that, his length of reign would be 17 years.

So who were the deleted Eógan and Ailill? The first one is answered by the pedigree given for Eógan Bél as mac Duach. This immediately points to the deleted Eógan as being Eógan Sréb mac Daui Galaig; and it was he who reigned for 37 years after immediately succeeding his father. This succession is supported by the Book Of Ballymote, which states:

891. Duach galach dano mc. Briain da mc. lais .i. Eogan sremh .i. rang beag bai na bhel & is uadh in rigraidh.

The record just quoted can be loosely translated as Dau Galach, also the son of Brión, had 2 sons belonging to him, that is, Eógan Sréb, that is, he of the lower hierarchical rank who replaced the one who had the normal claim to kingship and thereafter became of the kings. The word bhel has the possible meaning of “replaced in kingship, headship, etc. one who had the normal claim”, possibly of one who replaced the normal “tanist”, the “heir presumptive to a Gaelic clan”. So in one word, bhel is a type of “usurper”, or at least an unusual “replacement”. So Eógan the “striped/brindled” (sréb) could also be nicknamed Eógan the “usurper” (bhel). This would explain the conflation of Eógan Sréb of the Uí Briúin with Eógan Bél of the Uí Fiachrach. Hubert Thomas Knox in his book The History Of The County Of Mayo To The Close Of The Sixteenth Century supports the hypothesis that Eógan Sréb followed his father Dau Galach as King of Connacht:

The kingdom of Connaught seems to have been assumed by Eoghan Srebh in succession to Ailill. In any case Duach Tengumha was king at the close of the century. In 499 A.D. he was killed at the battle of Segais, the river Boyle, by Muirchertach Mac Erca of Ulster, and was succeeded by Eoghan Bel, son of Cellach, son of Ailill Molt, or, according to another account, son of Erc, son of Ailill Molt.

While Knox’s order of succession and identification of who actually reigned before and after Eógan Sréb is disputed in this paper, the fact that he was a King of Connacht is decidedly endorsed.

Ailill Molt

The length of Ailill Molt’s reign is taken from the Book Of Leinster King List, which gives a length of 20 years (see above).

Dau Tenga Uma

The choice for Dau Tenga Uma’s end of reign was taken from the hard date of his death in 500 A.D., as stated previously. The year of his start of reign was derived from adding the length of reigns from the previous Kings of Connacht. His place in the list has also been discussed in detail previously.

It needs to be especially noted that the Book Of Leinster King List and The Annals Of Clonmacnoise make it quite clear that Dau Galach and Dau Tenga Uma are two separate individuals. The separation in time between them provided by the proposed King List certainly allows for the traditional genealogy of Dau Tenga Uma mac Fergusa meic Muiredaig Maíl meic Eógain Sréib meic Dauí Galaig to be possible. It seems clear that claims of duplication between Dau Galach and Dau Tenga Uma by historians such as Francis J. Byrne in his Irish Kings And High-Kings are very much incorrect.

Eochaid Tírmchárna

Eochaid’s start of reign was taken from the hard date of Dau Tenga Uma’s death in 500 A.D. His place in the list has also been discussed in detail previously, while his length of reign is stated in the Book Of Leinster King List as 20 years (see above).

Eógan Bél

Eógan Bél’s place in the list as immediately succeeding Eochaid Tírimcárna seems the most likely place for insertion, ahead of Feradach mac Rossa. This was also done to align his death to 537 A.D. as recorded in the Annals Of The Four Masters, quoted previously. His length of reign has been discussed in detail previously.

It would seem that at this time a rift had occurred between the Uí Néill and the Uí Fiachrach, since Muirchertach mac Erca’s two sons Fergus and Domnall slew both Eógan Bél (see above) and Ailill Inbanda (see below), and the next two Uí Fiachrach Kings of Connacht had short reigns. Perhaps there was a shift in alliances when Muirchertach mac Erca married Duiseach, the daughter of Dau Tenga Uma. As was detailed previously, this woman incited her husband to kill her own father, who is credited as the progenitor for the Uí Briúin Seóla sept, in support of her foster-father, Eochaid Tírmchárna, who is credited as the progenitor of the Uí Briúin Aí sept. Certainly the rise in power of the Uí Briúin Aí, particularly the line that became the Síl Muiredaig, began in this time frame with the help of the Uí Néill, whether deliberate or not.

Ailill Inbanda

Ailill Inbanda’s place in the list as immediately succeeding his “father” Eógan Bél seems consistent in the records. His length of reign as 9 years is supported in the Book of Leinster King List (see above) and the The Genealogies, Tribes, And Customs Of Hy-Fiachrach (see below). His death year of 546 A.D. is a little later than that of 544 A.D. given by the Annals Of The Four Masters, as shown in the subsequent quoted footnote, but not unduly so.

However, it must certainly be pointed out that Ailill Inbanda’s pedigree is indubitably questionable. The records in The Genealogies, Tribes, And Customs Of Hy-Fiachrach are self-contradictory:

Oilioll Molt, the son of Dathi, had a son Ceallach, the father of Eoghan Beul, and of Oilioll Ionbhanda, two kings of Connaughtᵘ.

Eoghan Beul had two sons, namely, Ceallach, on whom the atrocious murder was committed, that is, his own four foster-brothers killed him treacherously at Ard an fhenneadha, at the instigation of Guaire Aidhne, son of Colman, through envy about the sovereignty; and Cuchongelt Mac Eoghain, the other son, was he who slew the foster-brothers of Ceallach in revenge for their fratricide; they were Maolcroin, Maolseanaigh, Maoldalua, and Mac (or Maol) deoraidh. Or, according to others, these were hanged at the river of Sal Srotha Dergᵛ, which is called the Muaidh, and it was from them the hill over the Muaidh was called Ard na rioghʷ; and Ard na Maolˣ is the name of the hill on the other side of the stream, where they were interred.

or:

Oilioll Ianbhannaᵃ, or Anbhanna, son of Muireadhach, son of Eoghan Beul, son of Ceallach, son of Oilioll Molt, nine years, when he fell by Aodh, son of Eochaidh Tiormcharna, of the race of Brian, son of Eochaidh Muighmheadhoin.

  • Oilioll Ionbhanna — According to the Annals Of The Four Masters he was slain in the battle of Cuil Conaire, in the territory of Ceara, in the year 544, by Fergus and Domhnall, the two sons of Muircheartach Mac Earca. Their words are: — “A. D. 544. The battle of Cuil Conaire, in Ceara, was fought by Fergus and Domhnall, the two sons of Muircheartach Mac Earca, against Ailill Inbanda, King of Connaught, and Aodh Fortamhail, in which Ailill and Aodh were slain.”

So Ailill Inbanda is variously the son, in the Book Of Leinster King List (see above), or the brother or grandson of Eógan Bél in The Genealogies, Tribes, And Customs Of Hy-Fiachrach, as just quoted. This is further confused by the fact that Eógan Bél is only attributed with two sons: Ceallach and Cuchongelt; or is it Ceallach and Muireadhach? Nowhere does Cuchongelt appear to be explicitly equated to Muireadhach. This makes it highly questionable that Ailill Inbanda was either a son or grandson of Eógan Bél. That leaves him as Eógan Bél’s brother as The Genealogies, Tribes, And Customs Of Hy-Fiachrach does state at one point; but this is by no means a definitive statement of their exact relationship.

Finally, it should be especially noted that Ailill Inbanda is either slain by Áed mac Eochada Tírimcárnach, or by Fergus and Domnall, the two sons of Muirchertach mac Erca. These accounts of two different deaths can be reconciled by assuming that all the parties mentioned were involved; which does lead once again to the strong conjecture that there was now an alliance of the Uí Néill and the Uí Briúin Aí against the Uí Fiachrach.

Feradach mac Rossa

Feradach’s place in the proposed King List as succeeding Ailill Inbanda instead of Eochaid Tírmchárna is because he is always given last in the various King Lists shown previously. His length of reign is stated in the Book Of Leinster King List as 3 years (see above). His inclusion here also follows the pattern of having an unbroken succession of Uí Fiachrach Kings of Connacht, even if with short reigns, until the Uí Briúin Aí resume power. These short reigns may indicate a determined effort to oust the Uí Fiachrach as Kings of Connacht.

It is interesting to note that neither Feradach mac Rossa nor Máel Fothaid mac Maíl Umach are included in the The Genealogies, Tribes, And Customs Of Hy-Fiachrach King List, although they are included elsewhere.

Máel Fothaid mac Maíl Umach

Máel Fothaid’s length of reign is stated in the Book Of Leinster King List as 3 years (see above). There does not appear to be much known about this individual.

Áed mac Eochada Tírmchárna

Áed mac Eochada Tírmchárna’s length of reign is stated in the Book Of Leinster King List as 22 years (see above). His death year of 574 A.D. aligns with what is recorded in the Annals Of The Four Masters:

The Age of Christ, 574. The seventh year of Aedh [, son of Ainmire]. The killing of Aedh, son of Eochaidh Tirmcharna⁹, by the Ui-Briuin.

It should be especially noted that Áed mac Eochada Tírmchárna was killed by his own kin, the Uí Briúin. It is not specified as to which sept of the Uí Briúin was responsible, but given that he was of the Uí Briúin Aí sept, it is an easy assumption to make that he was killed by one or both of the Uí Briúin Bréifne and Seóla septs, perhaps because they saw the Uí Briúin Aí as growing too poweful.

Uadach mac Áeda

Uadach apparently succeeded his father Áed mac Eochada Tírmchárna. Uadach’s length of reign is stated in the Book Of Leinster King List as 28 years (see above). His succession to his father as King of Connacht, together with both of their long reigns, gives ample testimony to the power of the Uí Briúin Aí by this time.

Colmán mac Cobthaig

Colmán’s length of reign is stated in the Book Of Leinster King List as 25 years (see above). But The Genealogies, Tribes, And Customs Of Hy-Fiachrach gives the length of his reign as 21 years:

Colman, son of Cobhthachᵇ, son of Goibhnenn, son of Conall, son of Eoghan, son of Eochaidh Breac, son of Dathi, was twenty-one years in the government of Connaught, when he fell in the battle of Ceann Bughaᶜ, by Raghallach, son of Uadach, son of Aodh.

Using a length of reign of 21 years puts his death in the year 623 A.D., which does not align closely with the year 617 A.D. given by the Annals Of The Four Masters:

The Age of Christ, 617. The seventh year of Suibhne. St. Caemhghinʰ, Abbot of Gleann-da-lochaⁱ, died on the 3rd of June, after having spent one hundred and twenty years of his age till then. Comhgall, a bishop, and Eoghan, Bishop of Rath-Sitheᵏ, died. The battle of Ceann-Delgteanˡ by Conall, son of Suibhne, and Domhnall Breac, wherein were slain the two sons of Libren, son of Illann, son of Cearbhall. Maelbrachaᵐ, son of Rimeadh, son of Colman, son of Cobhthach, and Ailill, son of Ceallach, died.

The battle of Ceann-Gubhaⁿ (or Ceann-Bughbha) [was gained] by Raghallach, son of Uadach, over Colman, son of Cobhthach (the father of Guaire Aidhne), where Colman himself was slain. Colgaᵒ, son of Ceallach, died. Ailillᵖ, son of Ceallach, died.

  • Ceann-Guhha, or Ceann-Bughbha — This place is now called Ceann-Bogha, anglicè Cambo, and is situated a short distance to the north of the town of Roscommon, in the county of Roscommon. — See The Genealogies, Tribes, And Customs Of Hy-Fiachrach, p. 313, note ᶜ. In the Annals of Ulster, “Bellum Cenn Buigi, in quo cecidit Colman mac Cobtaig,” is entered under the year A. D. 621.

However, the date of 623 A.D. does align much more closely with the year 621 A.D. given in the Annals of Ulster, as just shown. Interestingly, this two year difference is the same as that for Ailill Inbanda, but there appears no one place that can be readily ascribed for the difference.

Finally, it should be especially noted that the Uí Briúin Aí, in the person of Rogellach mac Uadaig, were obviously attempting to reassert their power again by killing Colmán mac Cobthaig, as Rogellach succeeded Colmán and reigned for 25 years, according to the Book Of Leinster King List (see above).